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Don't sweat the small stuff -- enjoy it

July 13, 2009|Shari Roan

If a miserable life feels longer, here's something to keep in mind: People who appreciate small moments of happiness, laughter and joy through the course of each day tend to be happy people who are more likely to be resilient against adversity and more successful in jobs, relationships and health outcomes.

Researchers reached this conclusion after a series of studies that required 86 participants to submit daily "emotion reports" that gauged their emotional status in detail over the course of the day. The study showed that happy people do not need to be Pollyannas or deny the upsetting parts of life. But these people have the ability to put greater stock in small, happy moments. Savoring these blips of pleasure in everyday life, the study found, elevates one's mood overall and leads to more resilience against negative events.

The study, published in the current issue of the journal Emotion, was co-authored by researchers at UC San Francisco, the University of Michigan, University of Pittsburgh and Cornell University.

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shari.roan@latimes.com

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